Nine passengers killed after bus driver falls asleep at wheel

Civil Guard arrest 54-year-old for causing Ávila crash, the worst accident of its kind in Spain for five years

The state of the bus which crashed on Monday morning in Tornadizos, Ávila province.
The state of the bus which crashed on Monday morning in Tornadizos, Ávila province.Raúl Sanchidrián (EFE)

At least nine people were killed and 21 injured after a bus carrying 32 passengers crashed in Ávila province on Monday morning. Of the 21 injured, five were in a serious condition at press time, among them a little girl who was taken by helicopter to an intensive care unit in Salamanca, according to the DGT highway safety agency and Castilla y León emergency services. Another 10 injured victims were driven to local health centers while nine were taken to the city hospital in Ávila to be evaluated.

The 54-year-old driver - who tested negative for alcohol in his bloodstream - escaped unhurt, Interior Ministry undersecretary Luis Aguilera said. He was later arrested by the Civil Guard after admitting to officers he had fallen asleep at the wheel.

The incident occurred at 8.45am at kilometer 123 of the N-403 highway by the Becerril reservoir, which is near the town of Tornadizos.

A full investigation to clarify the exact circumstances of the accident is ongoing. Investigators said that excessive speed was not considered to be a factor after analyzing the vehicle's data.

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